Thursday, October 28, 2004

‘Elmer Gantry’



With five days to go until the election, the punditry shows on the cable news networks are getting to be very entertaining.

I wish this election were easier to call and that I did not feel so desperate as to turn the television to Fox, CNN or MSNBC. But, last night, I did.

The whole thing is really infantile…

“Bush will win!”

“No. Kerry will win!”

“Bush!”

“Kerry!”

“LIAR!”

It’s actually worse than that. Flipping from one news channel to the other in the evening can look like several angry mobs arguing over an elevator.

The most tense evening news show these days HAS to be “Hannity and Colmes” on Fox. Last night was no less stressful than ever.

The show is supposed to be about opposing views and discussion. But, if you watch it for more than five minutes it becomes clear that the main source of the stress and irritation is… the overgrown and spoiled brat Sean Hannity, who constantly hollers down guests as well as his mild-mannered co-host Alan Colmes.

I’m fairly certain that, as a child in school, Sean Hannity was the one in class who always volunteered to take names and was also brazen enough to give the returning teacher a full and detailed report on who misbehaved in her absence.

In the last week alone Hannity has gone over the top against several of his guests, hollering at them, in turn, about “why you bother to appear on the show.” It’s a good question, as they cannot get any words in edgewise and even if a few words manage to get through they are “WRONG, WRONG, WRONG” according to Hannity.

Last night a democratic congressman sat patiently waiting for his turn (which never came) while a bemused Colmes watched Sean Hannity holler at him. Hannity also dragged a confused ex-army private onto the show to claim that weapons were already missing from the al-Qaqaa facility before our invasion of Iraq.

The poor guy.

Even though he was there to bolster Hannity’s claims he could not get many sentences out because Hannity kept finishing them for him. It also didn’t help the ex-private that he had a slight stuttering problem.

Now… the private and his battalion weren’t at the al-Qaqaa facility for very long. They also had no orders to search for the munitions. They also didn’t search the whole facility. But, to Sean Hannity, this was “conclusive proof” that John Kerry has been “lying” about the whole thing. The others attempted to suggest that there was no “conclusive proof” either way, but Sean Hannity drowned them out with “SEE?” “SEE?” “WHERE’S THE APOLOGY CONGRESSMAN?”

Hannity has a penchant for digging up “facts from the past” to use against his guests. I recall that once he used a clip of President John F. Kennedy against a democratic quest. The clip was out of context with some recent event Hannity took exception to – and I as well as those on the show didn’t get it – but Hannity went on for five minutes with “SEE?” SEE?” “WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE?”

I suppose where the guests are concerned Sean Hannity IS “fair and balanced” with both sides of the political discussion. He hollers at and interrupts both. The democrats get hollered at before they open their mouths and the republicans get hollered at if their degree of “Bushbotism” is not as vitriolic as Sean’s as fast as his own.

It is certainly not a virtue, on the show, to even agree with the pontificating blowhole.

Watching the show on a regular basis one cannot help but have a growing respect for Hannity’s co-host, Alan Colmes, who puts up with Sean’s antics on a daily basis. One also cannot help but have a growing irritation by listening to Sean Hannity.

Late in the show, last night, Republican Congressman Peter King, of New York, sat hollering at Alan Colmes while Sean Hannity hollered over him. Colmes could only sit and shake his head at the camera.

It may be the fact that the election is tight that Hannity is becoming more fervent in his screaming and screeching on his show. But Hannity has increasingly become more full of himself with the success of his radio show and his books that he constantly hawks on both programs.

We’ve seen this sort of thing before with Rush and O’Reilly (drugs, sexual harassment). Trust me. People like this have piles of bones in their own closets. I fully expect that we will someday see Hannity as the next self-righteous hypocrite to meltdown in public.

I think I might enjoy that immensely.

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